Fake bills

More than a week after a second arrest related to the spread of counterfeit money in the area, the Vandalia Police Department is continuing its investigation.
“There’s still (counterfeit) money out there,” VPD Chief Jeff Ray said on Monday.
In recent weeks, the VPD has received a number of reports of counterfeit money being used at local businesses, and Ray said that his department has recovered $5, $10, $20 and $100 counterfeit bills.
On May 7, police arrested Jeffrey L. Durbin, 21, of rural Beecher City, on a charge of forgery. That same day, the office of Fayette County State’s Attorney Joshua Morrison filed two counts of forgery, a Class 3 felony offense.
One count charges Durbin with allegedly trying to pass a $100 counterfeit bill, and the second county alleges the use of a $10 counterfeit bill.
His bond was set at $10,000.
Last Wednesday, Vandalia Police arrested Sean E. Kessler, 39, who is listed as a homeless person, on a charge of forgery. His arrest bond was $50,000.
Kessler has yet to be named in formal charges filed by Morrison’s office.
At this point, Ray said, some of the bills are being used by people who unknowingly received them at another business. In those cases, police are taking no action.
“We have to be able to show that people are knowingly trying to use counterfeit bills,” he said.
“We think that the person making the bills is still out there, and may not even be from this area,” Ray said, noting that his department has contacted the Secret Service about the use of counterfeit bills locally.
Other arrests are possible as police continue to follow leads.
“We have some leads coming in, but most of them are not really any specific information, just some rumors about who may be involved,” he said.
The police chief said it’s hard to determine whether a bill is counterfeit without close inspection.
“Until I held it up to the light, and compared it with a real bill, I wasn’t really able to tell the difference,” Ray said, noting that when he looked at the front of the bills, the only difference was a missing watermark on the right side of the counterfeit bill.
Anyone having information about the production or use of counterfeit bills can contact the Vandalia Police Department through its Crimewatchers phone line, 283-1986.

Leave a Comment